Female Sexual Predators

I wanted to post a few excerpts from a recent article that ran in the Independent and comment on them. The article is titled “Women are ruthless sexual predators too”.

MARTIN’S* mother began sexually abusing him by showing him “where babies come from”. When he was seven she tied him up to the electrics, tortured him and told him he was going to die.

From the age of five to 13 he was the subject of horrific abuse and beatings. When he reached puberty, the abuse stopped. Shortly after, he became embroiled in crime and has spent most of his life in and out of prison. This is the story Irishman Martin, now 35, told the UK support group, Survivors Swindon, for the first time.

As I have previously posted this sexual abuse of prepubescent children by a female offender seems to be much more common than many may think. Previously I posted some results from a study that was titled “The Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse by Female Perpetrators: A Qualitative Study of Male and Female Victims” and one of those results stated:

The average age of onset of the female sexual abuse was age 5 and ended, on average, at age 12, with the average duration being 6 years.

And Martin’s case seems to fit that as well.

Steve Bevan, founder of Survivors Swindon, says: “Women commit sexual crime, from inappropriate touching to sadistic torture and rape. That is a fact.”

Sadly it is a fact that is often denied or minimized by some, which causes even further harm.

Dr Bunting, author of Females Who Sexually Offend Against Children says, “There is no safe gender, just offenders. Female sexual offenders are just as capable of perpetrating terrible, evil and sordid acts as men are.”

This message needs to be spoken more often.

Robert Shoop, a law professor at Kansas State University and author of Sexual Exploitation in Schools, says: “Society doesn’t view a boy having sex with an adult female as rape, although legally it is. Our society doesn’t see it as a child being harmed. The idea that society has historically said that women are to be protected from sex, but boys are supposed to enjoy it and look for the opportunity, I think is wrong-headed and is a vestige of our past inequalities.”

He is correct and it is one reason, though not the only one, why people both male and female who have been abused by a female do not come forward.

The problem, she said, is that female offenders do not see themselves as the “monsters in the media”. She is very concerned about the lack of measured awareness among the public and the implications this has for victims of female sexual abuse. One victim who was sexually abused by a female told Hilary: “No women sexually abuse. I think I must be crazy.”

And this is another one of the reasons why victims of female abusers do not come forward. And to make it worse when they do come forward they are often disbelieved. Another female researcher/clinician has stated something similar to this (and is quoted on the front page of this site) when she stated “And female sex offenders use more intrusive levels of sexual behaviors than men. They are more likely than men to abuse strangers. And they are less likely than men to acknowledge guilt or to feel sorry or guilty, Strickland said.”

Dr Lisa Bunting of the NSPCC says acceptance is the first step: “It may be uncomfortable to think that women with traditionally more nurturing and caring roles may commit child abuse, yet it is clear from my research that we all need to be alert and aware that child sex abuse is not just committed by men.”

It is a long slow first step for many to take but hopefully more and more people will take it.

Cultural historian Professor Joanna Bourke is writing a book which investigates why the female sexual perpetrator’s voice has been muffled “under the deafening patois about the male perpetrator”. The female rapist falls out of history, she says, despite the role she has played in inflicting sexual suffering, but her sexual abuses are often not labelled as such. The female abuser is seen as a man.

Her book explores how women are being placed outside the symbolic order; the brutal female is as much a reality as the male and the scars they leave are forged deeper in the face of disbelief.Read the entire article here

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